KOTA KINABALU: Claims of "walk-ins" for vaccination against Covid-19 are actually those called in at the last minute to prevent vaccine wastage, says Sabah Community Development and People's Well-being Minister Shahelmey Yahya.
He said some people were offered the injection without prior appointments because slots became available owing to last-minute cancellations or no-shows by those with appointments.
This was done to ensure that the doses set out for the day's appointments did not go to waste, he told reporters after handing over Hari Raya goodies to Sabah media practitioners on Monday (May 10).
"As we know, the vaccines are sensitive, so we issue a (set) number of doses a day based on the appointments.
"There are those who came to check their status (directly at vaccination administration centres) since they have yet to receive appointment dates.
"If there are extra doses that day, we can slot them in.
"We do not encourage walk-ins," he added.
At present, phase two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme focuses on the elderly and those with comorbidities.
Shahelmey encouraged media practitioners who received the vaccine recently to share their testimonies so that more people sign up.
He said there was a need to enforce more restrictions on movement during the Hari Raya period as health officials have seen how the virus spread was linked to mobility and social events not adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs).
"The move (to restrict travel) is not meant to burden the people during Hari Raya, but a necessity to curb Covid-19 transmission.
"The figures of daily new cases are still fluctuating between double and triple digits.
"Ultimately we want to avoid another wave... We can see how (the infection) has become uncontrollable in India," he said.